May 27, 2024

Prerequisite wires Wonder Again; L Street Lady, Gold Sweep, Closing Act nab stakes

Prerequisite wins the Wonder Again (G2) at Belmont Park (Photo by Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photos)

One day after hosting an exciting renewal of the Belmont S. (G1), Belmont Park put on a quality Sunday card highlighted by a quartet of stakes.

The feature event was the $200,000 Wonder Again S. (G2) for three-year-olds fillies. The 1 1/8-mile inner turf test was postponed from Thursday due to air quality concerns, but the delay mattered little to Prerequisite, a 7-1 longshot who led all the way under Flavien Prat to score by a neck.

Coming off a pace-tracking maiden victory at Belmont, Prerequisite set decent fractions while switching up her running style, carving out splits of :23.67, :47.94, and 1:11.80 while tracked by Spansive. She kicked clear at the top of the stretch and had enough left down the lane to stave off stretch-running Be Your Best in 1:47.20.

Revalita rallied for third place, while Spansive, Allamericanbeauty, Thirty Thou Kelvin, and Venencia trailed the field.

Prerequisite is a daughter of Upstart trained by Chad Brown and owned by the partnership of First Row Partners and Team Hanley. The Wonder Again serves as a local prep for the July 8 Belmont Oaks (G1), a race Brown has won four times under its current conditions, and Prerequisite looks like a viable contender for the 1 1/4-mile contest.

Also postponed from Thursday was the $150,000 Jersey Girl S., a six-furlong dash open to three-year-old fillies. A field of five faced the starter, with 2022 Frizette (G1) winner Chocolate Gelato favored at 0.85-1 in her first start since finishing 12th in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).

But Chocolate Gelato failed to fire her best shot, fading to finish fourth as L Street Lady rallied from last place to spring a 12-1 upset. Under a patient ride from Manny Franco, L Street Lady settled as many as 3 1/2 lengths behind splits of :22.52 and :45.98 before wearing down the leaders to win by one length in 1:11.10.

Unified Alliance, Wildhawk, Chocolate Gelato, and Aunt Becca completed the order of finish behind L Street Lady, a daughter of Munnings conditioned by Brittany Russell on behalf of Madaket Stables. She entered the Jersey Girl off a third-place finish in the Miss Preakness (G3) at Pimlico.

Two-year-olds took center stage in the $150,000 Tremont S., a 5 1/2-furlong sprint in which 4-5 favorite Gold Sweep trounced five opponents by nine lengths. Coming off a narrow defeat in his debut against maiden special weight company at Churchill Downs, the Steve Asmussen trainee tracked an opening quarter-mile in :22.32 before seizing command to dominate under Jose Ortiz in 1:03.47.

Ship Cadet finished second after vying for the early lead, followed by Yo Yo Candy, Frosty the Giant, Jumpingjaggerflash, and Vitement. The winner is a son of Speightstown owned by Mike McCarty.

The Tremont completed a stakes double for Asmussen. Earlier in the afternoon, he sent out 7-10 choice Closing Act to win the $150,000 Astoria S. for two-year-old fillies dashing 5 1/2 furlongs. The Churchill Downs maiden winner brought her record to 2-for-2 with a 3 1/4-length tally. The Douglas Scharbauer homebred daughter of Munnings settled in midfield through an opening quarter in :22.33, then advanced steadily under Irad Ortiz Jr. to beat Union Suit, Living Magic, Golden Ghost, and Donate Life in 1:06.59.

These four stakes brought down the curtain on Belmont Stakes week at Belmont Park. Racing returns to the New York oval on Thursday.